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Takata acknowledges airbag defect in 33.8M vehicles

The announcement is expected to represent the largest recall of any consumer product in the US.

Takata is reportedly preparing to announce that nearly 34 million vehicles were outfitted with defective airbag inflators in the US.

The acknowledgement nearly doubles the scope of the problem from the existing campaigns, which listed approximately 17 million vehicles. Under pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Japanese supplier agreed to add another 16 million vehicles to the total.

The recall is said to represent the largest automotive recall, and even ranks atop recalls for any consumer product in the US, according to The Detroit News.

Most of the defective airbag inflators are believed to be sensitive to moisture, causing the propellant to explode with too much force and rupture the inflator canister. Several deaths and more than 100 injuries have been blamed on shrapnel from the failed inflators.

Takata has been hit with fines of $14,000 per day after the NHTSA accused the company of failing to properly cooperate in an ongoing investigation. The latest announcement appears to show a shift in strategy for the company, which had previously declined to acknowledge a defect even as millions of its parts were cited in recalls for millions of vehicles.

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